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Posted by on Apr 14, 2016 in Food, PLACES AND THINGS | 0 comments

10 Italian Restaurants in Tampa Bay You Have to Visit

food at Italian restaurants in Tampa Bay

Larry Hoffman / Flickr CC

When your hunger strikes fiercely, not much fills that empty spot in your stomach better than pasta. However, not all Italian cuisine is created equally. Not only does it come down to having perfectly tender pasta noodles and blissfully seasoned sauces– the atmosphere plays a larger role in the recipe.
If you find yourself wanting to take your tastebuds on a tour through Italy, be sure to visit these Italian restaurants in Tampa Bay!

If your love of Italian cuisine extends to wine as well– perhaps these Tampa wineries will pique your interest:
Top 5 Tampa Florida Wineries

italian dish at Armani's in tampa

Photo : Armani’s


2900 Bayport Dr, Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 207-6800
Yelp Review: 4 Stars

Sitting on the 14th floor of the Grand Hyatt Hotel (located at 2900 Bayport Drive), Armani’s boasts a vibrant menu and atmosphere. The most notable aspect of Armani’s is the floor to ceiling windows replacing the walls of the restaurant, allowing an uninterrupted view of Old Tampa Bay. The menu contains a wide variety of wines as well as food– including the signature Lobster Bisque, Salmon Scottato, and Tagliatelle alla Bolognese.


Photo: La Terrazza Ristorante

La Terrazza Ristorante Italiano

1727 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 248-1326
Yelp Review: 4.5 Stars

Located on E 7th Avenue, La Terrazza is nestled in historic Ybor. Winner of the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and placed on the Yelp Top 100 list in Tampa Bay, this restaurant is ready to serve authentic Italian cuisine for a moderate price. You are sure to be greeted by Luigi, the owner of the restaurant, during your stay and guaranteed to love every bite.

pizza at Bavaro's Pizza Napoletana and Pastaria

Photo: Bavaro’s Pizza Napoletana and Pastaria

Bavaro’s Pizza Napoletana and Pastaria

514 N Franklin St #101, Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 868-4440
Yelp Review: 4.5 Stars

With its flagship location at 514 N. Franklin Street, Bavaro’s was established in 2009 by Dan and Anna-Maria Bavaro, along with their five children. The restaurant boasts an enormous wood stove in which the Napolitan-style pizza is baked, and their homemade sauce is so good that it is available at over 2,000 locations. They are slated to open a new location on Central Avenue in Saint Petersburg this spring.

lobster at Gio’s Italian restaurant in Tampa Bay

Photo: Gio’s


3621 W Waters Ave, Tampa, FL 33614
(813) 932-1922
Yelp Review: 4 Stars

Tucked away in a strip mall on Waters Avenue, Gio’s restaurant is a hidden gem when it comes to Italian restaurants in Tampa Bay. Customers rave about the wonderful atmosphere and live music that fills the evening air. The most popular dishes include the Pollo Marsala and the Pollo Scarparella, though customers have also sung praises for the restaurant’s specials.

Italian Chicken at Bella's Italian Cafe in Tampa Florida

Photo: Bella’s Italian Cafe

Bella’s Italian Café

1413 S Howard Ave #100, Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 254-3355
Yelp Review: 4 Stars

Established in 1986, Bella’s Italian Café is located off South Howard Avenue in Tampa. The Italian restaurant is known for its pizza and ambient atmosphere as well as their delicious daily specials. They also provide free valet parking Thursday-Sunday 5pm-10pm.

steak at Iavarone's Italian restaurants in tampa bay

Photo: Iavarone’s Italian Steakhouse

Iavarone’s Strakhouse and Italian Grill

3617 W Humphrey St, Tampa, FL 33614
(813) 932-5241
Yelp Review: 4 Stars

Iavarone’s boasts a menu of steaks, pasta, and a number of other meals, including kids menus. The restaurant is also known for its hand picked wines and impeccable service (don’t believe me? Read the plethora of Yelp reviews applauding the service). The restaurant also includes a rooftop cigar and martini bar.

mussels at Trattoria Pasquale Italian Restaurant in Tampa

Photo: Trattoria Pasquale

Trattoria Pasquale

4334 S Manhattan Ave, Tampa, FL 33611
(813) 831-9572
Yelp Review: 4 Stars

On the more casual end of Italian dining, Trattoria Pasquale boasts “signature dishes of homemade pâté, cauliflower Milanese, old-family recipe lasagna, and homemade pork sausage.” You can build your own antipasto, or trust the chef’s specials, which are based on what was gotten from the local market that day.

Linguine with seafood at Donatello Italian Restaurants in Tampa Bay

Photo: Donatello Italian Restaurant

Donatello Italian Restaurant

232 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 875-6660
Yelp Review: 4 Stars

Described as an “old school style Italian restaurant,” Donatello’s sports an old world charm, from the hand painted ceiling tiles to tuxedo-clad staff, and every female customer leaves with a rose in hand. The restaurant has been serving delicious (though a bit pricy) traditional Italian meals since 1984– which makes it a staple when it comes to Italian restaurants in Tampa Bay.

Lamb at Bernini of Ybor Florida

Photo: Bernini of Ybor

Bernini of Ybor

1702 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 248-0099
Yelp Review: 4 Stars

For Bernini’s, “Taste is a matter of art.” The restaurant is settled in the heart of Ybor and boasts specials such as the $2 martini special and half off pasta and entrees from 4 until 7 each day. The restaurant is sure to be packed on the weekend, so if you want to try some of their wood fired pizzas or top-tier entrees you will want to be sure to make a reservation.

Calzones at Untouchables Pasta and Pizza

Photo: Untouchables Pasta and Pizza


1150 Clearwater Largo Rd N, Largo, FL 33770
(727) 581-8560
Yelp Review: 3.5 Stars

Although not a “fine-dining” restaurant, Untouchables (located in Clearwater) boasts an old-timey gangster atmosphere that can’t be beat. Pictures and newspaper clippings of Al Capone, fake tommy guns, and floor to ceiling décor is enough to draw in the eyes of the guest. The hefty plates of delicious home cooked pasta is enough to keep you coming back.

Be sure to leave a comment below to let us know your favorite Italian Restaurants in Tampa Bay!

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Melissa DeHart is a graduate of Florida State University currently residing in Orlando, Fl. When not writing articles for the Tampa Traveler she enjoys writing novels, going on adventures, and taking care of her pet cat. For more of her work visit her website: Candied Letters

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